By Mohammad Ghaderi

Pompeo's special mission and shadow of U.S. secret diplomacy over Europe

May 26, 2018 - 10:1

TEHRAN - Intense negotiations between the U.S. and Europe over the Iran nuclear deal are ongoing.

And you couldn’t be more wrong thinking that with Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear pact, the three European countries -- namely Germany, the UK and France  -- wouldn’t be holding talks with the U.S. over the JCPOA any longer.

Ever since America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been busy negotiating with his European counterparts over the Iran deal, trying to make them heel to the U.S. move and even threatening European business that trade with Iran with economic sanctions.

Prior to Pompeo’s recent speech at the Heritage Foundation, and the patently absurd White House demands over the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. Department of State announced that Pompeo had already had talks with his British, French, and German counterparts over the JCPOA.

Part of the statement reads: “The United States and its European allies have strong interests and share common ground in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon and its destabilizing roles in the region. The Secretary of State has stressed the good measures taken against the common threats in the past few months and hopes to continue our solid partnership and move forward.”

What is puzzling here is that the European officials have no interest in revealing the content of the behind the scene talks with their American counterparts on the JCPOA. This is an issue that cannot be overlooked.

The most important fact here is that the output of the US and European Troika negotiations, which have been mostly shaped in the form of hidden diplomacy, points to Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron’s stress over the abrogation of the Iran deal with the inclusion of Iranian missiles and regional issues related to Iran.  
European officials know all too well that the U.S.’s unilateral exit from the Iran deal will certainly rule out the possibility of any “change to the deal”, but Pompeo and his European counterparts are apparently devising and steering a plan for that purpose.
This time around though, the American, British, French and German authorities, just like in the year before, are putting together a jigsaw puzzle of modifications that its final iteration presents no benefits for our country.
Pompeo has announced that despite Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the U.S. is willing to work with the Europeans to devise a new plan. In other words, while European officials seem to stand by the Iran pact as it has been and address the consequences of the U.S. exit, they still are negotiating with the White House over formulating a “new deal” with Iran. It does indeed appear that they are running with the hare and hunting with the hounds at the same time.
The purpose of such talks is clear: limiting the Iran nuclear deal permanently and threatening Iran’s defensive missile capabilities.
Thus, miscalculations about the realities of the situation and the potential for a widening divide between the U.S. and Europe over the U.S. abrogation, can also damage our realistic sense about what goes on in our country’s foreign policy.
Although maintaining the JCPOA has economic and political benefits for Europe, the White House’s unilateral bullying has practically changed the game.
In any case, although Europe’s extant dependency on the U.S. is nothing new in the international arena, reopening negotiations over the nuclear issue and the prospect of brutal sanctions imposed on Iran won’t be to Iran’s interest as the Supreme Leader has said repeatedly, and plus it does require careful consideration to figure out the best path forward.

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